My New ‘Normal’ is slowly coming together!

This past Saturday was National Knit in Public Day – above is me (bundled in a heavy sweatshirt jacket, using my knitting project to keep my knees warm!) It was a ‘balmy’ 63 degrees, sunny with a very strong wind. We had 18 ladies in attendance which made me happy! The general consensus was: we were having such a good time – why not do this regularly? I just finished officially scheduling our “Panera” knit group meeting for tomorrow 4-6/7 p.m. in the above park! (Panera is still at 50% capacity seating and 6′ distancing of people so it would not work for 18+ of us to try to cram in there at this time). I’m looking forward to scheduling events again! Slowly but surely my ‘new normal’ is coming into view. The ‘fun’ thing about this ‘new normal’ for my knit group is: we are now incorporating BOTH of my knit groups together!

One of the ladies in my groups began a new project for those who wanted to participate. It seems a friend gave her 2 very large garbage bags full of very expensive yarns with the stipulation that said yarns would be used to create items which could be sold to benefit CHARITIES. These are yarns I’m not familiar with – various strange textures, weights, etc. My friend divided the yarns up into projects, with a pattern (should you need one) for various items to knit/crochet. I was timid at first, choosing 2 bags. Saturday she brought the remainder of the yarns (altogether she created 44 project bags!). I now have 4 bags: one I’m working on in various shades of browns/tans/rust – it’s eventually going to be a cowl. I think the yarns are ugly but that’s just me: one is Alpaca – reminds me of knitting with dog hair! Another will be fingerless gloves – these are in a bright teal with white top & bottom; the other 2 bags are currently without an ‘idea of what to make out of them’. My friend has asked that we complete the projects by December so I’ve got time. (and I thought I was going a bit over my normal number of projects with 2 baby blankets & some baby booties! Now I’m at 2 baby blankets, knitting baby headbands for the Sept. Vet’s baby shower, baby booties and ‘the bags’!) Oh well – keeps me busy & out of trouble, right?

The ‘build a new garage’ project is still in the works; we’re awaiting a quote from another builder, not exactly sure when he’s coming over – that’s 2 builders/2 quotes – we’ll see where this goes.

=================

(DISCLAIMER: the recipes I feature on this blog are not my recipes – see the recipe sites listed under each recipe)

Apple Pie w/ Peanut Butter Crumble

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell (poster
used Pillsbury frozen pie crust)
1 C. sour cream
1/2 C. sugar, divided (3/4 & 1/4)
2 tsp. vanlla
4 C. apples, peeled/sliced (or chopped)
Poster used 5 small Red Delicious but
you can use any baking apple)
1 C. rolled oats (can use quick cooking oats)
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 C. peanut butter ( poster used extra
crunchy – you can use regular if you like)
2 T. butter or margarine, softened
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large bowl whisk sour cream, 1/4 C.
sugar, eggs, 1/4 C. flour & vanilla. fold
in apples – toss to coat then pour into
pie shell. In a bowl mix oats, 3/4 C. flour,
1/4 C. sugar & cinnamon.
Either in microwave or on stovetop,
melt peanut butter & butter together
until smooth. Add to oat mixture &
sprinkle over apples.
Bake 50-55 minutes until golden brown
& center is set. Serves 6

NOTE:  Leftover pie should be refrigerated

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)
————————–

Crockpot BBQ Country-style
Pork Ribs

5 lb. country-style pork ribs
1 C. chopped celery
2 C. chopped onions
1/2 C. chopped green bell pepper
1 C. ketchup
1/2 C. yellow mustard
1 C. BBQ sauce
1 C. water
3 T. dark cider vinegar
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
=
Suggested serving sides:
cooked white rice to serve 6
baked beans to serve 6
cole slaw
toasted garlic bread
=
Place ribs in large deep pot – cover
with water & boil 20-30  minutes to
decrease fat.

In a large bowl mix all other ingredients
& stir to mix well.
Place pork in crockpot, adding sauce as
you go, until you get about an inch from
top of crockpo. Use as much sauce as you
can (it will be needed later to put over rice)
Mix all well. Cover & cook on High about
5 hours. (You can keep it longer on Low
to keep it hot) Serves 6

(recipe: food.com)
———————————-

Tomato Salad

5 C. tomatoes, cut into 1″ pieces
1 C. bocconcini (mozzarella balls)
1/4 C. red onion thinly sliced
1/3 C. small basil leaves
1/4 C. olive oil
1 1/2 T. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. fresh minced garlic
salt/black pepper, to taste

Place tomatoes, mozz. balls, red
onion & basil in large bowl. In a
small bowl whisk olive oil, red
wine vinegar, sugar, oregano, garlic,
salt/pepper (to taste). Pour dressing
over tomato mixture & gently toss
to coat evenly. Serve immediately
or cover & refrigerate up to 2 hours.
Serves 6

(recipe: dinneratthezoo.com)
————————

Bruschetta Chicken
(Grill recipe)

4 thin-cut boneless skinless
chicken breasts
1/4 C. olive oil
2 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Italian seasoning*
1/2 tsp. black pepper
4 slices mozzarella cheese
2 T. balsamic glaze

Topping:
1 1/2 C. tomatoes, diced
1/2 tsp. garlic, finely minced
1 T. olive oil
1/4 C. thinly sliced basil leaves
salt/black pepper, to taste
2 T. red onion, minced
=
In large bowl or ziplock bag mix olive
oil, lemon juice, salt, Ital. seasoning &
black pepper. Place chicken in bag &
marinate at least 30 minutes or up to
4 hours.
====
Preheat grill or grill pan to medium high.
Remove chicken from bag (discard bag).
Place chicken on grill. Cook 4-5 minutes
on each side (or until fully cooked).
Place mozz. cheese slices on top of chicken;
cover grill & cook until cheese melts, 2-3
minutes.
(While chicken is cooking prepare topping)
Topping:
In medium bowl combine tomatoes, garlic,
olive oil, red onion, basil, salt/pepper – let
stand 10 minutes. Spoon bruschetta
mixture over chicken. Drizzle with balsamic
glaze & serve. Serves 4

*If you don’t have Italian seasoning:
Mix 1 tsp. garlic powder, 1 tsp. dried oregano,
& 1 tsp. dried basil

(recipe: dinneratthezoo.com)
—————————-

Lemon Garlic Smashed Potatoes

6 medium potatoes (Yukon Gold or
Carisma)
3 T. melted butter (or 2 T. olive oil)
4 cloves garlic, crushed (or 2 if you
like a milder flavor)
2 tsp. dried oregano, divided
salt/black pepper, to taste
(optional: 1/2 tsp. semolina –
for crispy potatoes)
=
Preheat oven to Broil (or grill
to medium-high (about 200 degrees F/
400 degrees F)
Place potatoes in large pot of salted
water; cook, covered 30-35 until
fork-tender; drain well. Lightly spray
a large baking sheet or tray with nonstick
cooking spray. Arrange potatoes on sheet &
use a potato masher to lightly flatten the
potatoes in one piece (don’t mash too hard).
In a small bowl mix butter, lemon juice &
garlic – pour over each potato. Sprinkle tops
with half of oregano, salt/pepper. Lightly
spray with cooking spray & sprinkle tops
with semolina, if using.
Broil or grill until golden & crispy, about
15 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle
tops with remaining oregano.
To serve: season with a little extra salt &
pepper, serve immediately.
Serves 6

NOTE: For even crispier potatoes, remove
from oven half way through cooking;
spray with a little extra cooking spray &
continue broiling/grilling until golden
brown.

(recipe: cafedelites.com)
————————————

Southwest Chicken Coleslaw

2 C. cooked/chopped chicken
2 C. coleslaw mix
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. grape or cherry tomatoes,
quartered
1 1/2 T. fresh lime juice
1/2 C. buttermilk Ranch salad dressing
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. sugar
=
In large bowl add chicken, coleslaw,
cheese & tomatoes. In smaller bowl
mix lime juice, ranch dressing, chili
powder, cumin, pepper & sugar until
combined – pour over coleslaw mix &
stir to combine. Refrigerate at least
one hour prior to serving.
Serves 6-8

NOTE: Also great served on a
spinach or tomato tortilla as a wrap

(recipe: hoteatsandcoolreads.com)
—————————-

Orange Meringue Pie

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
3/4 c. sugar
1/3 C. cornstarch
1 pinch salt
1 C. orange juice
1/2 C. lemon juice
1/4 C. water
4 eggs, separated
4 T. butter or margarine, cut into
pieces
2 tsp. grated orange zest
1/2 C. diced orange segments
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
=
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line unbaked pastry crust with
foil & a layer of pie weights or
dried beans. Bake in preheated
oven until edge of crust is golden,
about 10 minutes. Carefully
remove foil & weights; bake
about 5 minutes more.
In small saucepan stir 3/4 C. sugar,
1/3 C. cornstarch & salt. Mix in
orange & lemon juices & water.
Whisk in egg yolks. Cook over
medium heat, stirring frequently,
until thick & bubbly, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat & stir in butter
& orange zest. (If desired, stir in
orange segments) Pour into pie
crust; cover with plastic wrap & set
aside to cool.
==
(When pie has cooled to room temp)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Preparing Meringue:
In large glass or metal bowl
beat egg whites until foamy.
Gradually add 1/2 C. sugar &
cream of tartar, continuing to
beat until stiff peaks form. Lift
beater or whisk straight up – the
egg whites should form a sharp
peak that holds it’s shape. Spread
meringue over pie, making sure
it completely covers the filling &
meets the edges of the pie crust.
Bake in preheated oven until
meringue topping is golden
brown, about 15 minutes.

(recipe: Facebook)

====================

Our weather has been kind of ‘iffy’ – one day sunny
& in the 60’s, next in the 70/80’s. Today it’s supposed
to have a High of 76 degrees F. tomorrow High of 86!
Thurs. high of 90, Friday high of 92! WOW!

Gas prices jumped a bit lately to $2.04/9; not a big
jump.

Hope you have a GREAT day – stay healthy!

Hugs;

Pammie

PS: You can’t really see it very good – but the project on my lap is the White/Pink Chevron baby blanket – I’m very close to being done with it.

And now it’s WINTER, again…

Yesterday was (once again) another SNOW day – we ended up cancelling my special needs group because we were expected to get about 3 inches of snow (add that to the 1-2 the day before). Yesterday was busy for me: Knit Group 10-12, drive to Auburn Hills to pick up the special needs (printed) newsletters, get them home – fold, put them in envelopes & drive them to the Post Office. Back home, had to call all of the group to inform them No meeting tonight. That done, I relaxed (read that ‘knitted’). Dinner was Fried Perch, mashed potatoes & tossed salad – yum. Since our middle son moved out about a month ago, the house seems much quieter – not as much activity. Youngest son is still with us but he’s in & out – pretty quiet, only talks when he wants to. Today the sun is out BRIGHT & SHINING; it’s 25 degrees F. The roads are clear and it looks like driving will not be a problem; I have to babysit at 2 today.

On the subject of knitting: the new teal yarn came and I was NOT happy. It was supposed to be 2 colors of teal; well – it was . . . sort of. I wanted mostly bright teal with an after shade of a darker blue. This was MOSTLY darker blue with ‘hints’ of teal . . . NOT what I wanted! I was NOT happy and set about figuring out just what I would do since I wanted to knit a scarf for my friend for her (now past) birthday. Last Wednesday at the library knit group the librarian brought in 2 large bags of yarn that had been donated by a patron. One was navy blue, fine/fluffy and one was the same in forest green. There was enough to knit a sweater or small blanket. No one else in the group wanted it because it was so very fine – I ended up taking the forest green & a friend, the navy. After the disappointment with the teal yarn, I decided to try this green yarn instead. Picked a pattern I’d never done before & got started. I’d say I have about 3 feet done at this point; I really LIKE the way the pattern looks BUT it’s one of those: “have to really CONCENTRATE on every stitch/row” patterns (there are 10 rows!). I find I can knit about 2 groups of 10 rows before I have to stop and take a break – just too intense. At this rate she MIGHT get the scarf before Spring – but don’t hold your breath!

============

Cinna-bun Cake

Cake:
3 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 C. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 C. milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C. butter, melted

Topping:
1 C. butter, softened
1 C. brown sugar
2 T. flour
1 T. cinnamon

Glaze:
2 C. powdered sugar
5 T. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 15″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
Mix all cake ingredients EXCEPT
melted butter in a large bowl. Add
melted butter & pour into prepared
dish.
In separate bowl mix all topping
ingredients – mix well & drop by
teaspoonfuls over batter in pan
as evenly as you can. Use a butter
knife to swirl topping into batter.
Bake 28-30 minutes

While cake is baking prepare glaze.

Remove cake from oven & glaze while
still warm.

(recipe: 1krecipes.com)
—————————

Philly Cheese Steak Casserole

1 1/2 lb. ground beef
2 bell peppers, seeded/diced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. seasoned salt (like Lawry’s or Mortons)
4 slices Provolone cheese
4 large eggs
1/4 C. heavy cream
1 tsp. hot sauce
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 9″ square baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
In a skillet cook gr. beef over medium
heat, crumbling. When beef is broken
up & still pink, add peppers, onion,
garlic & seasoned salt. Continue
cooking, stirring often, until beef is
cooked & vegetables have softened
a bit. Drain & pour mixture into
prepared dish. Tear cheese into small
pieces & place on top of beef. In a
medium bowl add eggs, cream, hot
sauce & Worc. sauce – whisk to combine.
Pour mixture over beef & bake 35
minutes until eggs are set. Let stand
5 minutes before serving.

(recipe: americanfoodtime.com)
————————-

Deconstructed Wonton Soup

6 oz. bulk pork sausage
1/3 C. panko bread crumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 T. plus 1/3 C. thinly sliced green
onions, divided
1 (32 oz) carton chicken broth
1 T. soy sauce
1 bunch baby bok choy, coarsely
chopped (or 2 C. fresh spinach)
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
1 C. uncooked extra-wide egg noodles
1/2 C. coarsely chopped fresh basil

In large bowl combine sausage, bread
crumbs, egg & 2 T. green onion – mix
lightly but thoroughly – shape into 3/4 inch
balls. In large saucepan bring broth & soy
sauce to a boil. Carefully drop meatballs into
soup. Stir in bok choy, celery & noodles; return
to boil. Cook, uncovered, until meatballs are
cooked through & noodles are tender, about
10-12 minutes. Stir in basil & remaining green
onions – remove from heat.
Serves 4 (makes 1 quart)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————

Crockpot Pepper Steak

2 lb. beef sirloin, cut into bite-
sized pieces
garlic powder, to taste
3 T. oil
1 cube beef bouillon
1/4 C. boiling water
1 T. cornstarch
1/2 C. onion, chopped
2 green peppers, seeded/
thinly sliced
1 (14 oz) can stewed tomatoes
3 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
=
4 C. cooked rice
=
Sprinkle beef pieces with
garlic powder. In large skillet over
medium heat, brown beef in oil;
transfer to crockpot. In a bowl mix
boiling water & bouillon cube until
dissolved. Stir in cornstarch until
dissolved & pour over beef. Stir in
all remaining ingredients (except
rice). Cover & cook on Low 6-8
hours (or High 3-4 hours). Serve
over cooked rice.
Serves 8

(recipe: gooseberrypatch.com)
—————————

Biscuits & Gravy Breakfast Casserole

1 lb. pork sausage
2 T. butter
2 pkgs. Sausage Gravy mix (makes 2 C.
per pkg)
12 eggs
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tubes refrigerated biscuits

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
In large skillet cook sausage; break into
small pieces & drain. In large saucepan
prepare gravy accordg. to pkg. directions –
add sausage & mix. In large bowl whisk
eggs, evap. milk & salt – soft-scramble
eggs with butter in a skillet. In 9 X 13″
(or larger) baking dish layer gravy, eggs,
gravy, eggs, gravy then top with biscuits.
Bake 20-25 minutes until biscuits are
golden brown.

(recipe: americanfoodtime.com)
—————————-

Chicken Barley Soup

1 broiler/fryer chicken (2-3 lb),
cut up
8 C. water
1 1/2 C. chopped carrots
1 C. chopped celery
1/2 C. medium pearl barley
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 tsp. chicken bouillon granules
1 tsp. salt (optional)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
=
In large stockpot cook chicken in
water until tender. Cool broth & skim
off fat. Remove chicken until cool
enough to handle. Remove meat from
bones; discard bones & cut meat into
cubes-return meat to pan along with
remaining ingredients. Reduce heat;
cover & simmer 1 hour until vegetables
& barley are tender. Discard bay leaf.
Serves 5 (about 1 1/2 qts)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————–

Crockpot Mediterranean Lentil Soup

2 (32 oz, ea) boxes chicken stock (8 C.)
1 C. diced carrots
1 C. green lentils, rinsed
1/2 C. jarred marinated artichokes,
drained
1/2 C. diced celery
1/2 C. sun-dried tomatoes in oil,
drained/julienned* plus 1 T. oil from jar
1 tsp. vegetable bouillon paste**
3 sprigs fresh oregano
1 onion, diced
2 C. escarole, julienned*
zest & juice of 1 lemon
kosher salt/ground black pepper,
to taste

crusty bread, for serving
=
Place in crockpot: chicken stock,
carrots, lentils, artichokes, celery,
sun-dried tomatoes & 1 T. oil,
bouillon paste, oregano & onion.
Cover & cook on High 4 hours
(or Low 8 hours) until lentils are
tender. Stir in escarole, lemon zest
& juice – let stand 5-10 minutes.
Season with salt/pepper & serve
with crusty bread for dipping.
Serves 8-10
———
*julienned: means to cut into
thin strips
———

**NOTE: I have not  made this recipe
but  1 person used 1 tsp.
chicken bouillon instead

reading comments on this soup

1 person substituted spinach greens
for escarole/1 substituted kale

-1 person added a Parmesan cheese
rind to the soup

-1 person suggested breaking up
dry spaghetti noodles & adding them
to the soup towards end of cooking –
it thickens the soup

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
———————————

Pecan Cheesecake Squares

Shortbread Layer:
1 1/2 C. flour
3/4 C. light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. finely chopped pecans

Cheesecake Layer:
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

Pecan Pie Layer:
3/4 C. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 C. light corn syrup
1/3 C. butter, melted/cooled slightly
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 C. pecans
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.

Shortbread layer:
In medium bowl combine flour &
3/4 C. brown sugar. Using a pastry
blender (or 2 knives) cut in butter
until mixture resembles coarse
crumbs. Stir in 1/2 C. pecans & press
mixture evenly in bottom of prepared
pan. Bake 10 minutes – remove from
oven & cool about 10 minutes.

Cheesecake Layer:
In bowl of a stand mixer place cream
cheese (using paddle attachment).
Beat at medium speed until smooth.
Beat in sugar; add milk & 2 tsp. vanilla –
beat until combined. Pour mixture over
cooled shortbread layer. Bake 15 minutes.
Remove from oven & cool about 10 minutes.

Pecan Pie Layer:
In medium bowl combine remaining 3/4 C.
brown sugar, corn syrup & melted bututer.
Gently stir in eggs, salt & remaining 1/2 tsp.
vanilla. Stir in 1 1/2 C. pecans & pour over
cooled cheesecake layer. Bake 35-40 minutes
until center is set & pecan pie layer is a rich
brown color.

(recipe: americantimesfood.com)

===================

Tuesday our middle son invited my husband & I for
dinner at his new apartment (and to meet his new
kitties!) Wasn’t exactly sure what he would cook, since
he’s not a very experienced ‘chef’ but he made spaghetti
with Polish sausage in it (different . . . ) – we, of course,
complimented it. The kittens are adorable – they’re about
6-7 weeks old; he loves irony so there’s “Snowball” (a
little girl) and “Lucky”, a little boy – both are all black!
It took them awhile to come out from under the couch
but eventually we were able to pick them up – SO CUTE!
He said he wanted two so they could keep each other
company while he was at work – seems to be working
just fine! He’s happy – they’re happy, and . . . in the end
WE’RE HAPPY for them!

Hope you have a WARM, cozy day!

Hugs;

Pammie

a little late but I’m still around!

Thanksgiving went well – husband just informed me we are now down to “just turkey” – his ‘afternoon snack’ just wiped out the mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole and wild rice stuffing! Looks like there will be turkey pot pie in the very near future at our house!

Hope you all had a great holiday; I’m still not quite into the ‘holiday’ spirit – I’m not a big fan of decorating so have to kind of push myself into the ‘getting ready for Christmas’ theme. I’ve managed to order 2 Christmas presents – pretty pathetic, eh? I also ordered (through Groupon) a 4-person pass for my oldest son & his family to visit one of our local ‘treasures’: the Christmas Walk at Meadowbrook Hall/Estate in Rochester, Michigan. This is a gorgeous estate which originally belonged to the Dodge (as in motor car) family and the local florists decorate most of the house and estate with beautiful scenes, Christmas trees, wreaths, etc. When my sons were younger we did the tour of the estate and it is well worth it. (also found a DVD of some Gilbert & Sullivan operas my husband loves and doesn’t have) – that’s it . . . I’m just not overflowing with gift ideas this year! How about you?

============

Cranberry Apple Crisp

3 C. chopped, peeled tart apples
2 C. fresh or frozen cranberries
1 C. sugar
3 T. flour

Topping:
1 1/2 C. quick-cooking oats
1/2 C. flour
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. butter, melted
1/4 C. chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 11 X 7″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl combine apples,
cranberries, sugar & flour & pour
into prepared dish. In another bowl
mix topping ingredients until crumbly;
sprinkle over top of apple mixture. Bake
50-55 minutes until fruit is tender.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————-
Easiest Peanut Butter Fudge EVER!

2 C. sugar
1/2 C. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. peanut butter

Spray or grease a sided baking
pan. (recipe did not give size but
photos look like a loaf pan or a
8 X 8″)
In a saucepan bring sugar & milk to
a boil stirring constantly (do not turn
heat on High) Once it comes to a
full rolling boil, boil 2 1/2 minutes then remove
from heat. Stir in peanut butter & vanilla
& pour into prepared pan. Let chill.

(recipe: facebook)
——————————-

Crockpot English Pub Split
Pea Soup

1 meaty ham bone
1 1/3 C. dried green split peas,
rinsed
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 C. water
1 (12 oz) bottle light beer
1 T. prepared English mustard
1/2 C. 2% milk
1/4 C. minced fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

minced fresh parsley, optional garnish

Place ham bone in 4 qt. crockpot. Add
peas, celery, carrot & onion. Combine
water, beer & mustard; pour over veggies.
Cover & cook on High 5-6 hours or until
peas are tender. Remove ham bone from
soup. Cool soup slightly, trim any fat &
remove meat from bone (discard fat & bone).
Cut meat into bite-sized pieces & return to
crockpot. Stir in remaining ingredients. If
desired, top with minced parsley.
Serves 8 (makes 2 qts)

NOTE: For a less chunky soup, puree in batches
in a blender or food processor.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
————————

Pumpkin Ginger Soup

1 (3 lb) sugar pumpkin, halved/seeded &
quartered
6 fresh thyme sprigs
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
ground black pepper, to taste
1 T. butter
2 large shallots, chopped
3 C. vegetable or chicken broth,
plus more, if needed
1 T. fresh grated ginger
3 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1/8 tsp. fresh nutmeg, plus more
for garnish
1/4 C. plain Greek yogurt

Garnishes:
chopped chives
pepitas (pumpkin seeds) optional

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Lightly spray a baking sheet with
nonstick cooking spray. Place pumpkin
& thyme on sheet & drizzle with olive
oil; season with 1/4 tsp. salt & pepper-
gently toss to combine & arrange in a
single layer. Roast 60-65 minutes, stirring
halfway through until pumpkin is fork-
tender. Cool then remove peel. In a large
stockpot or Dutch oven heat butter over
medium heat. Add shallots & cook, stirring
occasionally, 4-5 minutes. Stir in pumpkin,
ginger, broth & sage. Season with 3/4 tsp.
salt & black pepper to taste. Bring to boil
then remove from heat. Puree using an
immersion blender (or regular blender,
in batches being very careful) until
smooth. Add yogurt & blend again.
Pour into 4 bowls & serve immediately
with chives plus more yogurt, pepitas,
chives & ground nutmeg, if desired.
Serves 4

NOTE: Soup can be frozen: Omit yogurt &
garnishes until ready to serve. Portion
cooled soup into ziplock freezer bags &
lay bags flat in single layer in freezer. Transfer
soup bags to refrigerator the night before
reheating then reheat over low heat,
stirring occasionally, until heated through.
Add yogurt & garnishes & serve.

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)
——————–

Sky-high Brunch Bake
(note: using 9-inch springform
pan & substitute)

1 (17.3 oz) pkg. frozen puff
pastry (2 sheets) thawed
6 eggs, beaten/divided (note:
reserve 1 T. eggs for later)
1 C. ricotta cheese
dash hot pepper sauce
2 (10 oz, ea) pkgs. frozen,
chopped spinach, thawed/
well drained
4 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 C. chopped red bell peppers

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray springform pan with nonstick
cooking spray. Unfold pastry sheets &
roll out 1 sheet to an 11 inch square.
Roll out remaining sheet to a 12 inch
square & use to line the bottom & sides
of pan. In large bowl mix all eggs (minus
reserved 1 T. egg) with ricotta, hot sauce
& spinach. Layer half each: bacon, Cheddar,
ricotta mixture & peppers in crust – repeat
layers. Cover with remaining pastry sheet;
fold under edges then tuck inside pan. Brush
pastry with reserved egg & cut steam hole
slits in top crust. Bake 45-55 minutes until
golden brown. Cool 10 minutes. Run a knife
around the edges of the pan to loosen crust
before removing rim. Serves 12

NOTE: can be baked ahead & refrigerated for
several hours or overnight. When ready to serve,
bake, uncovered in 350 degrees F. oven 30-40
minutes until heated through.

If you don’t have a springform pan:
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Can be baked in a greased 9 X 13″ pan
instead. Roll out bottom & top pastry
sheets to fit dish. Line dish with foil withthen
ends of foil extending over sides of dish.
Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Bake
35-40 minutes until golden brown. Let
stand 10 minutes then use foil ‘handles’
to life from dish before cutting to serve

(recipe: myfoodandfamily.com)
———————————-

Sausage Dip

1 1/2 lb. bulk pork sausage
2 1/2 C. chopped fresh mushrooms
2 medium green peppers, chopped
1 large tomato, seeded/chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
2 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese, cubed
1 C. sour cream

Tortilla chips, for dipping
=
In large skillet over medium heat, cook
sausage until no longer pink; drain. Add
next 8 ingredients & cook until veggies
are tender. Reduce heat to Low; add
cream cheese & sour cream – cook &
stir until cheese is melted & well
blended (do not boil). Serve warm with
tortilla chips. Makes 48 servings (6 C.)

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————-
Twice-baked Potato Casserole

6 medium russet potatoes
4 T. butter, softened (more for pan)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sour cream
1 1/2 C. whole milk
2 3/4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
10 slices cooked/crumbled bacon
5 green onions, sliced
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
kosher salt/ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Scrub potatoes then place directly on oven
rack – bake until soft & easily pierced,
1 hour to 1 hr, 15 minutes depending on size.
Remove from oven & let cool slightly. Slice
warm potatoes in half & remove flesh using
a spoon – place flesh in large bowl (discard
skin). Mash flesh & butter, cream cheese, sour
cream & milk – stir to combine until butter &
cream cheese is melted. Fold in 2 C. Cheddar,
3/4 ths of bacon, 3/4ths of green onion &
garlic powder – season with salt/pepper. Brush
a medium baking dish with butter & scoop
potato mixture into dish. Smooth top & sprinkle
remaining 3/4 C. Cheddar on top. Bake about
20 minutes until cheese is melty. Turn oven to
BROIL. Broil about 2 minutes until golden.
Let cool 10 minutes then top with remaining
bacon & green onions. Serves 6

(recipe: delish.com)
———————————-

(You could probably substitute turkey!)

Orange Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry

4 chicken breasts, cut into 2″ cubes
3/4 C. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 T. olive oil
5 large carrots, cut up small
1 onion, chopped small
2 bell peppers, cut into strips
6 stalks celery, cut up small
salt/pepper, to taste

Sauce:
3/4 C. fresh orange juice
1/4 C. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. rice vinegar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
pinch red pepper flakes
2 T. corn starch
1 C. chicken broth

Suggested serving:
Cooked rice to serve 6
====
Heat a large skillet & add 1 T. oil.
In small bowl combine flour & 1/4
tsp. salt – dredge chicken pieces in
mixture until well covered. When oil
is hot, gently place chicken pieces in
skillet & cook until golden all over (about
10 minutes). Remove from pan & place
on a plate. Add 1 more T. oil to hot skillet
& cook veggies over medium-high heat
until crisp-tender – about 10 minutes.
In a medium saucepan add all sauce
ingredients – whisk until well combined &
bring to boil-it should thicken up. When
veggies are cooked add thickened sauce &
chicken to pan – stir well & serve.
Serve over cooked rice – serves 6

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)
———————-

Cinnamon Roll Muffins

Muffin Batter:
2 C. flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 C. sugar
3 T. butter, melted
1 C. milk
1 egg

Cinnamon mixture:
3 T. butter, melted
1 C. brown sugar
1 T. cinnamon
dash salt

Frosting Glaze:
1 T. butter, melted
1 T. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. milk
1 C. powdered sugar
dash salt

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Line muffin cups with paper liners
(recipe makes 15 muffins) & spray
liners with nonstick cooking spray.
In medium bowl mix (from muffin batter):
flour, baking powder, salt & sugar – stir
with a fork. In large glass measuring cup
melt 3 T. butter; add 1 C. milk & stir to
combine. Add 1 egg & whisk into mixture-
pour into dry ingredients & stir but not
completely. Do not over mix.

Cinnamon mixture:
Melt butter in small bowl; add brown
sugar, cinnamon & dash salt – stir to combine.
Fold half of cinn. mixture into batter & stir
just until no streaks of flour. Fill muffin
cups a little more than half full. Sprinkle
remaining cinnamon mixture over top of
each muffin. Bake 12-15 minutes until a
toothpick inserted into center of muffin
comes out clean. Allow muffins to rest
in tin 5 minutes then transfer to a wire
rack to cool. (glaze will go on warm muffins)

Glaze:
In small bowl combine melted butter,
maple syrup, vanilla, milk, powdered
sugar & salt – whisk until smooth & glossy.
Drizzle over warm muffins.
Makes 15 muffins

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)

======================

About 2 weeks ago I was getting a bit bored with
just working on the two baby blankets and came
up with the idea of crocheting some of my various
baby yarns into a granny-square baby afghan. I
found a crochet pattern which made a slightly
different granny square than I was used to, so I
went with that. It went very quickly so that I’m
considering making another one! It was fun
and the supplies didn’t take up a lot of room in
my knit bag. Here’s the blanket:

We’ve been lucky recently with our weather – after our 8 1/2 inches of snow about 2 weeks ago, it’s all melted and now it’s just cold and wet (raining – but it’s not turning into the white stuff – YAY!) Our forecast calls for highs in the 30’s all week and some rain so I really don’t mind that at all. You can walk & drive in rain!

Hope you are all in good health;

Hugs;

Pammie

and how are YOU doing?

It’s been a busy week so far – my husband & I attended a retired Telephone Operators luncheon yesterday and I saw someone I haven’t seen in over 35 years! We had a nice chat with old friends then stopped at Crossroads Pregnancy Center to deliver the three baby blankets I featured in the last post – it’s always nice to have someone really appreciate my efforts – they were thrilled. I told them I would be back in about 3 months with more.

I stopped at Kroger after my library knit group today and they are in FULL SWING with all the Thanksgiving food stuffs. Honestly, I’m not at all ready for this holiday – just don’t seem to be in ‘the mood’ but that doesn’t count, right? The day WILL go on and I WILL cook food & bring it to my oldest son’s house for that day. I’m getting LOTS of holiday recipes coming in so I knew I had to post soon.

============

Butter Pecan Layer Cake

2 2/3 C. chopped pecans
1 1/4 C. butter, softened/divided
2 C. sugar
4 large eggs, room temp.
2 tsp. vanilla
3 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. whole milk

Frosting:
1 C. butter, softened
8 to 8 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 (5 oz) can evaporated milk
2 tsp. vanilla
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Grease & flour three 9″ round baking
pans.
Place pecans & 1/4 C. butter in a separate
baking pan & bake 10-15 minutes until toasted,
stirring frequently.
In large bowl cream sugar & remaining until
light & fluffy. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well
after each addition; stir in vanilla. Combine
flour, baking powder & salt; add to creamed
mixture alternately with milk, beating well
after each addition. Stir in 1 1/3 C. toasted
pecans. Pour mixture into prepared pans & bake
25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before
removing from pans to wire racks to cool
completely.
=
Frosting:
In a large bowl cream butter & powdered sugar;
add milk & vanilla – beat until smooth. Stir in
remaining toasted pecans. Spread frosting
between layers & on top & sides of cake.
Serves 16

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
————————————–

Butternut Squash Panzanella Salad

6 C. cubed day-old French bread
(bite-sized cubes)
3 T. olive oil
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. salt

Salad:
4 C. peeled/cubed butternut
squash (1 1/2″ cubes)
1 1/2 C. sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 C. olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 tsp. black pepper, divided
6 C. fresh argula or fresh baby
spinach
6 T. sherry vinegar
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 C. salted, roasted almonds
6 T. crumbed goat cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Toss bread cubes with oil, chili
powder & salt – spread evenly on
ungreased 15 X 10 X 1″ baking sheet.
Bake about 5 minutes until golden
brown. Transfer to a large bowl & cool.

Spray another 15 X 10 X 1″ baking sheet
with nonstick cooking spray.
In another large bowl combine squash &
mushrooms. Add 2 T. oil, 1/4 tsp. salt &
1/4 tsp. pepper – toss to coat. Transfer
to sprayed sheet & toast until tender,
20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add arugula & squash mixture to toasted
bread. In small bowl whisk vinegar, shallots
& remaining oil, salt/pepper – drizzle over
salad; toss gently to combine. Top with
almonds & goat cheese. Serve immediately.
Serves 8

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————–

Roasted Honey Sweet Potatoes

6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled/
cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 C. honey
1/4 C. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Spray a 15 X 10 X 1″ rimmed baking
sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Preheat oven 375 degrees F. Place
potatoes in large bowl. In another
bowl whisk honey, oil, salt, cinnamon
& pepper – add to potatoes; toss to coat.
Transfer to prepared baking sheet & roast
45-50 minutes until tender, stirring once.
Serves 12

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
———————————
Fresh Ginger Carrot Salad

2 (8 oz, ea) cans unsweetened crushed
pineapple, undrained
3 1/2 C. shredded carrots
1 C. raisins
3/4 C. sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 C. chopped walnut
1 1/2 C. plain yogurt
2 tsp. minced fresh gingerroot.

Drain crushed pineapple, reserving
3 T. juice. In bowl combine pineapple,
carrots, raisins, coconut & walnuts. In
another bowl combine yogurt, ginger &
reserved pineapple juice – pour over
carrot mixture & toss gently to coat.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour before
serving. Serves 6

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————

Crockpot Holiday Ham

7 lb. cooked, bone-in ham (or spiral
cooked ham)
1 C. brown sugar
2 C. pineapple juice
1/2 C. maple syrup

Place ham in large crockpot, flat
side down. Rub brown sugar all
over sides of ham then drizzle
with juice & syrup. Cover & cook
on Low 4-6 hours. Serves 12

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
————————

Crockpot Sausage Dressing/Stuffing

7 C. seasoned stuffing cubes or croutons
1 medium tart apple, chopped
1/3 C. chopped pecans
1 1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 lb. reduced-fat bulk pork sausage
1 large onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can chicken broth
2 T. butter, melted

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray.
In large skillet cook & crumble sausage
with onion & celery over medium-high
heat until sausage is no longer pink.,
4-5 minutes; drain. In large bowl combine
first 5 ingedients then mix with stuffing.
Stir in broth & butter – place in crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 3-4 hours until
apple is tender, stirring once.
Serves 12

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
————————

Bacon Cheese Ring
(appetizer dip)

3 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 C. mayonnaise
1 C. cream cheese, softened
1/2 C. bacon bits
1/2 C. chopped green onions
1 (16 oz) jar strawberry preserves
1/4 C. pecan pieces

Butter crackers, for dipping
=
In large bowl mix shredded cheeses.
Add gr. onions & bacon bits – mix in
softened cream cheese & mayo. Be
sure not to make mixture too creamy or
it may not hold it’s form.

Spray a serving plate with nonstick cooking
spray. Sprinkle edges with pecan pieces –
place cheese mixture in center into a
ball-shape. Top with strawberry preserves.
Serve with butter crackers. Serves 12

NOTE: another tester used Pepper Jack
instead of mozzarella

(recipe: cdkitchen.com)
—————————

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

Sauce:
3/4 C. fresh cranberries
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. water
1/2 tsp. fresh orange zest

Crust:
3 oz. gingersnap crumbs (from 12
gingersnap cookies)
1 oz. pecans, crushed
1 1/2 T. light butter, melted

Cheesecake:
8 oz cream cheese
1/4 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 (6 oz) tub plain Greek yogurt
2 egg whites
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. flour

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Place oven rack in middle of oven
Line a 8 X 8″ baking pan with waxed
paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on
all sides.

Sauce:
In small saucepan combine cranberries,
sugar, water & orange zest. Cook until
cranberries begin to burst & mixture
turns soupy, 6-7 minutes. Remove from
heat; allow to cool.

Crust:
In small bowl combine gingersnap
crumbs, crushed pecans & light butter.
Stir to  moisten crumbs then pour into
prepared baking pan. Spread in an even
layer, using bottom of a drinking glass
to help ensure the crust is even.

Cheesecake:
In medium bowl using elec. mixer,
beat cream cheese, sugar & vanilla
until smooth. Add yogurt, egg whites,
lemon juice & flour, mixing until just
combined. Pour mixture into pan over
crust & smooth with a spatula. Add
cooled cranberry mixture to a food
processor – puree until smooth (if
mixture is too thick, add 1/2 T. water).
Use a spoon to drop sauce over cheesecake
then swirl sauce with a butter knife.
Bake 25 minutes.
Allow to cool to room temp. & refrigerate
several hours to get well chilled. Once
chilled, cut into squares. Serves 9

(recipe: skinnytaste.com)

=====================

Because I had fun crocheting the last baby blanket AND
because I have so many small balls/skeins of baby yarn
I decided to try a (new to me) FLOWER granny square
& make a blanket out of leftover yarn. It’s going well
but because the squares are only 4 inches I will need
48 to complete the blanket (and then crochet an edge
around it). With that project, now I’m up to 3 baby
blankets and the baby booties – keeps me busy & out
of trouble!

Hope you are well and into the Fall/Thanksgiving
preparations. Weather-wise we have been blessed
with slightly warmer temperatures which have VERY
NICELY melted a LOT of the 8 1/2 inches of snow we
got last week. Roads & sidewalks are clear, driving is
great – walking is great and I’m happy! I don’t mind
a bit chilly – it’s the icy/mounded snow I worry about.

Stay warm & healthy;

Hugs;

Pammie

It’s Friday already! Wow!

It’s another brisk (52 degrees F) clear day – sun shining, a slight breeze to blow around all the leaves that are either falling or already on the ground. I managed to get out early & do a few errands, come home & paint some of the ‘little houses’ that I put out on our window ledge during the summer and now am on the computer.

Tonight is my special needs group’s Harvest Party so dinner will have to be something quick & easy. My middle son the other day asked when we could have Nachos again for dinner so that’s what’s on the menu at my house tonight! The good thing is: they like them AND there will be enough for another meal tomorrow! YAY! Next up will be a Meat & Potato Pie (my husband’s favorite).

I have been blessed this week with NO BABYSITTING! The two days I could be available, the baby’s Mom was off and now SO AM I! Can’t say I’ve done anything really ‘extra’ with my time but: we did have my knit group’s Yarn Swap Tuesday evening and I actually think this was THE LARGEST batch of donated yarn EVER! (I started the group in Sept., 2007). Everyone took what they wanted (I kept 4 small skeins of baby yarn) – I took 4 HUGE bags of yarn the next day to the Library Knit group & they took what they wanted. We STILL donated 4 BIG  bags of yarn to Children’s Village where they teach young people to knit & crochet.

I’m currently working on 3 blankets, two knit & one crochet plus starting a scarf for one of my special needs students. Lots of knitting being done lately.

Monday last we went to my oldest grandson’s football game and they won 14 to 6; froze my little ‘whatevers’ some and the last game is this coming Monday night. One more ‘freeze’ and we’re done for the season! It was cute – my baby grandson kept getting into the excitement of the crowd by standing up and yelling:
“Go Big Brudder – GO! WIN!” The people around us were laughing because he was doing that no matter WHO was winning but it was cute.

============

Caramel-Pecan Pumpkin Pull-Aparts
(overnight recipe)

1/4 C. butter, cubed
1 C. chopped pecans
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. heavy whipping cream
1/4 C. honey

Dough:
1 (1/4 oz) pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 C. warm water (110-115 degrees F.)
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 C. flour
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 C. cold butter, cubed
1/2 C. solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 C. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla

Spray a 9″ square baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray.
In small saucepan melt butter over
medium heat. Add pecans; cook & stir
2-3 minutes until pecans are fragrant.
Stir in brown sugar, cream & honey –
cook & stir until sugar is dissolved &
mixture begins to darken. Pour batter
into prepared pan. In small bowl
dissolve dry yeast in warm water. In
large bowl, whisk 2 1/4 C. flour, sugar,
pie spice, salt, baking soda, baking
powder & cinnamon – cut in butter
utnil crumbly. Add pumpkin, buttermilk,
vanilla & yeast mixture – mix well.
Turn dough onto a floured surface
& knead gently 8-10 times, adding
additional flour if needed. Roll dough
into a 9″ square. Cut into 16 squares &
arrange over pecan mixture in pan.
Cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate
overnight.
=
Remove pan from fridge 30 minutes
before baking.

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Uncover pan & bake 24-28 minutes or
until golden brown. Carefully invert onto
a serving platter & serve warm.
Serves 16

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
—————————

Chicken-Fried Steak w/Sawmilk Gravy

Steaks:
6 pieces cub steak, about 2 lb.
salt/black pepper, to taste
1 C. flour, divided
25 saltine crackers, crushed
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 eggs
1/3 C. milk
oil for frying

Gravy:
1/4 C. flour
1 1/2 – 2 C. whole milk
=
Steaks:
If your cube steaks are more than 1/2″
thick, you will need to pound them until
thin*; season lightly with salt/pepper.
On a plate (or pie tin) place 1/2 C. flour.
In a shallow bowl mix remaining 1/2 C. flour,
crushed saltines, seasoned salt, garlic powder &
cayenne pepper. In another shallow bowl whisk
eggs & 1/3 C. milk. Dredge cubed steak in flour
then dip in egg mixture then coat in cracker
mixture – continue process for rest of steaks &
place them on a large baking sheet. In a large
skillet (preferably cast iron) heat about 1/2 inch
vegetable oil or shortening over medium heat.
Cook steaks in 2 batches about 4-5 minutes per
side then remove to a paper towel-lined baking
sheet to drain excess oil.

Gravy:
Once steaks are finished cooking remove excess
oil from pan, leaving about 1/4 C. remaining.
Add 1/4 C. flour to pan; whisk & cook over
medium heat 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk
& cook until thick. Whisk constantly & season
to taste with salt & black pepper – pour over
steaks when serving.
Serves 6

*Pounding steaks provides additional tenderizing
as well as allowing for more even cooking.

(recipe: thecountrycook.net)
——————————-

Crockpot (low carb) Pizza Soup

1-2 lb. ground sausage, browned/drained
2 C. marinara sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can beef broth
1 C. water
16 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 (4 oz.) can mushrooms, drained
1 (2.25 oz) can black olives, drained
1 T. Italian seasoning
1 C. mini pepperoni (or chopped regular)

Optional garnish: shredded mozzarella cheese
=
Combine all ingredients (except garnish)
in 6 qt. crockpot. Cover & cook on High 2-3
hours (or Low 4-5 hours), stirring occasionally.
Serve topped with optional garnish, if desired.
Serves 8

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
————————–

Crockpot Artichoke Dip

28 oz. canned artichoke hearts,
drained
2 C. shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
16 oz. cream cheese, softened
2/3 C. Half & Half
1/2 C. diced green onions
1 T. diced jalapeno pepper
=
Suggested dippers:
chunks of French bread, cut up fresh
vegetables, pita chips or crackers
=
Place all ingredients in a 3-5 qt. crockpot;
stir to combine. Cover & cook on Low 30
minutes to 1 hour – stirring twice during
cooking time. Dip is done when all cheeses
are melted & gooey.
Turn crockpot to Warm to serve straight
from crockpot (OR) spoon dip into a
serving bowl. Serves 12

(recipe: crockpotladies.com)
—————————-

Mushroom Risotto

18 oz. crimini or Baby Bella mushrooms,
cleaned/quartered
1 T. unsalted butter
1 T. olive oil
pinch salt

Rice Preparation:
2 T. unsalted butter
2 T. olive oil
1 C. onion, diced
1 C. dry Arborio rice
1/3 C. dry white wine (or water)
2 1/2 C. chicken stock
3/4 C. grated Parmesan cheese
salt/pepper, to taste

In medium saute pan melt 1 T. butter &
1 T. olive oil; add mushrooms & saute
over medium-high heat until lightly
browned, stirring frequently. Sprinkle
lightly with a touch of salt; saute another
1 minute. Remove from heat.
Rice:
In medium heavy-bottomed saucepan,
melt butter & olive oil over medium-high
heat. Add onion – saute 5 minutes until onions
are translucent. Add rice, stirring frequently,
2-3 minutes until rice is just starting to turn
lightly golden. Quickly pour in wine & allow
liquid to boil & be absorbed into rice. Pour
1/4 C. chicken stock to rice, stirring constantly.
(If necessary, adjust heat for a medium simmer).
Add more stock, 1/4 C. at a time, adding more
stock as most but not all of liquid has been
absorbed, before adding more stock. Cook
rice & stock approx. 25 minutes until rice is
tender, but not mushy. Turn off heat when
there is still some liquid remaining in rice.
Stir in Parmesan cheese, mushrooms & salt/
pepper – stir to combine completely. Remove
from heat & cover – let stand 5 minutes before
serving. Serves 4-6

NOTE: Risotto may be reheated by adding
some additional chicken stock & stirring to
incorporate stock into risotto.

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)
————————–

Layered Enchilada Bake

1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 C. thick & chunky salsa
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans,
drained/rinsed
1/4 C. Zesty Italian salad dressing
2 T. taco seasoning mix
6 (8 inch) flour tortillas
1 C. sour cream
1 (8 oz) pkg. (Kraft) Mexican-style
finely shredded Four Cheese

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
skillet over medium-high heat
brown meat with onions; drain.
Return meat mixture to skillet;
stir in next 4 ingredients. Arrange
3 tortillas in single layer on bottom
of prepared dish. Cover with layers
of half each: meat mixture, sour
cream & cheese – repeat layers.
Cover with foil & bake 40 minutes
until heated through & cheese is
melted, uncovering after 30 minutes.
Let stand 5 minutes before cutting &
serving. Serves 6

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
—————————–

Pumpkin Pie Dip
(dessert)

1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 C. powdered sugar
1 C. solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 C. sour cream
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
=
Gingersnap cookies – for dipping
=
In large bowl using elec. mixer, beat
cream cheese & powdered sugar until
smooth. Beat in pumpkin, sour cream &
spices until blended. Transfer to a serving
bowl & serve with gingersnap cookies.
Refrigerate any leftovers.
Makes 4 cups dip

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)
——————————-

Old-fashioned Clove Cookies

1 stick butter (8 T./  1/2 C.) softened
1 C. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 C. flour
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 C. chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Lightly spray a cookie sheet with
nonstick cooking spray. In large
bowl using elec. mixer, cream butter,
brown sugar, vanilla & egg. In another
bowl whisk flour & ground cloves – add
to creamed mixture. Fold in nuts. Drop
batter by tablespoons onto sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes. Makes about 2 dozen

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)

====================

Hope you’re in good health and enjoying this Fall weather!

Hugs;

Pammie

 

Totally Amazing!

Above is the total of knit/crochet/sewn/quilted items donated to Detroit Veterans Hospital’s Baby Shower: 316 items! I was in awe of all the beautifully crafted items from blankets, hats, booties, headbands, mittens, outfits, etc.: the ladies truly outdid our past donations. All of these items came from my knit group as well as our local library knit/crochet group and even some from ladies who knit in another knit group PLUS a donation of 7 quilts from one of our ladie’s churches! I would post all the photos but they are too numerous to do so (23!). It was a boisterous, loud, fun-filled evening. We were even able to donate another 51 pairs of baby booties to the other charity that create burial outfits for babies. I am so proud of my friends!

===========

Peanut Butter Lunch Lady Cookie Bars

2 C. flour
2 C. sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 C. peanut butter, divided
1 1/2 C. (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 C.  milk + 2 T., divided
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
4 C. powdered sugar

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a large cookie sheet with
nonstick cooking spray (or line with
parchment paper.) In large bowl mix
all dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking
soda, salt). In another bowl whisk 1/2 C.
milk, vanilla, eggs. In a saucepan melt
1 C. (2 sticks) butter & 1 C. peanut butter &
bring to boil. Remove from heat & slowly
add dry ingredients followed by milk/egg
mixture – mix until well combined. Pour onto
cookie sheet, spread evenly to edges. Bake
20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Cool completely
before frosting.
=
Frosting:
1 stick butter
1/2 C. peanut butter
2 T. milk
4 C. powdered sugar

In a saucepan bring butter & peanut butter
to a boil. Add milk & slowly mix in powdered
sugar until well combined. Pour frosting over
cake, spreading evenly to edges. Allow to cool
& set before serving.

(recipe: 1krecipes.com)
——————————-

Zucchini Quiche w/Bacon &
Hash Brown Crust

Crust:
3 C. refrigerated or frozen hash
browns, thawed/patted dry
2 T. olive oil
2 T. unsalted butter, melted

Quiche Filling:

1/2 C. bacon, cooked/crumbled
1 shallot, diced
1 medium zucchini
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
5 eggs, room temp.
1 C. plain Greek yogurt
3 C. shredded cheese (Sharp Cheddar,
Gruyere, Monterey Jack, Dubliner,
Pepper Jack – or a combination of 2
or more)
=
Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a 9 inch pie plate with nonstick
cooking spray. Grate zucchini onto a
clean kitchen towel & squeeze dry,
removing as much excess liquid as possible.

In medium bowl combine hash browns,
olive oil, butter, salt/pepper – toss to
combine. Press mixture firmly into bottom & up
sides of prepared pie plate, forming a crust.
(Make sure it goes all the way up the sides
b/c it will shrink some while baking)
Bake 20-25 minutes until edges are golden
brown.
REDUCE oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
=
Filling:
Cook bacon in large saute pan over medium-
high heat until crispy, 6-8 minutes on each
side. Remove from skillet & crumble. Remove
all but 1 T. of bacon grease from skillet. Add
diced shallots & saute over medium heat 3-4
minutes until translucent & soft. Add shredded
zucchini – turn heat to High. Season with salt/
pepper & cook 3-5 more minutes, stirring
occasionally. Combine flour, baking powder &
salt in small bowl. In separate bowl, beat eggs
until fluffy (2-3 minutes). Whisk in Greek
yogurt until combined & smooth. Add in
grated cheese, flour mixture, bacon &
zucchini mixture – stir until combined. Pour
filling into hash brown crust & bake 35-40
minutes until center is set, top is puffed &
golden brown and a toothpick inserted into
center comes out clean. Let stand several
minutes before removing from pan & serving.
Can also be eaten at room temperature or
chilled. Serves 8

(recipe: momontimeout.com)
——————————-

Zucchini Pancakes

2 medium zucchini, about 3/4 lb.
2 T. grated red onion
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
6-8 T. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
unsalted butter
vegetable oil

Preheat oven 300 degrees F.
Grate zucchini into a bowl using
large grating side of a box grater.
Immediately stir in onion & eggs.
Stir in 6 T. flour, baking powder,
salt & pepper. (if batter gets too
thin from zucchini liquid, add remaining
2 T. flour). Heat a large (10-12 inch)
sauce pan over medium heat &
melt 1/2 T. butter & 1/2 T. veg. oil
in pan. When butter is hot but not
smoking, lower heat to medium-low
& drop heaping soup spoons of
batter into pan. Cook pancakes
about 2 minutes on each side until
browned. Place cooked pancakes
on a sheet pan & keep warm in oven.
Wipe out pan with a dry paper towel;
add more butter & oil to pan &
continue to fry pancakes until all
batter is used. Pancakes can stay
warm in oven up to 30 minutes.
Serve hot. Makes 10 (3 inch) pancakes

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
—————————-

Crockpot Crustless Pizza
NOTE: poster used a 5-6 qt.
crockpot

2 lb. ground beef
garlic salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
dried minced onion, to taste
1 (14 oz) jar pizza sauce
2 C. shredded pizza-blend cheese
PLUS
your favorite pizza toppings

Spray insides of crockpot with
nonstick cooking spray.
Brown beef & season in a skillet
over medium-high heat; drain. Place
beef & cheese in a bowl & mix to
combine. Evenly spread beef mixture
in crockpot & pour pizza sauce on top –
spread out evenly. Top with pizza cheese &
toppings. Cover & cook on Low around
4 hours. Serves 8-10

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
————————-

Roasted Acorn Squash Soup

3 acorn squash
2 T. olive oil, divided
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
6 cloves garlic, peeled/left whole
3 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
4 C. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground sage
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. allspice
1 C. heavy cream
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1 T. red wine vinegar

Optional garnishes:
shredded Parmesan cheese
roasted pumpkin seeds
fresh parsley, chopped
=
Preheat oven 400 degrees
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick
cooking spray. Slice each squash length-
wise end-to-end; scrape seeds out-
discard seeds. Drizzle 1 T. oil over sqaush &
season to taste with salt/pepper. Place each
half cut-side down on sheet. Wrap garlic in
foil & place on sheet. Roast 1 hour until
softened & beginning to collapse. Remove &
set aside to cool.
When cool enough to handle, scrape flesh
from rinds & add flesh to large bowl along
with garlic cloves. Place a Dutch oven or soup
pot over medium-high heat – add diced bacon &
saute until crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove
bacon from pan & place on paper towel to drain.
Remove bacon fat from pan, leaving about 1 T.
in pot – return to heat. Add onion & cook 3 minutes
until translucent. Add broth, a little at a time,
scraping up any brown bits on bottom of pot. Add
squash, garlic, ginger, sage, cayenne & allspice –
bring to boil; simmer 5 minutes. Puree soup in a
blender in small batches (or use immersion blender).
NOTE: If using blender, do not fill blender more than
half full – hot soup can blow the lid off if you put
too much in. Return soup to pot; stir in cream,
Worsch. sauce & vinegar – bring to a simmer. Add
salt/pepper & taste. Serve with your choice of
garnishes. Serves 12

(recipe: everydaydishes.com)
————————–

Quick Mushroom Chicken Bake

1 1/4 lb. skinless boneless chicken breast
halves
1 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
1 T. vegetable oil
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained
2/3 C. milk
1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/8 tsp. black pepper
=
3 C. hot, cooked white rice/pasta or
mashed potatoes
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Season chicken with lemon pepper.
Heat oil in 10-inch skillet & add chicken.
Cook 10 minutes until well browned on
both sides. Place chicken in a 2-quart
baking dish. Stir soup, mushrooms, milk,
cheese & garlic in a small bowl. Season
with black pepper & pour mixture over
chicken. Bake 30 minutes until chicken
is cooked through. Serve chicken & sauce
with rice. Serves 4

(recipe: campbells.com)
———————————

Cookie Dough Dip

1/2 C. butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. milk or cream
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/4 C. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 C. mini chocolate chips
plus more for garnish

Dippers:
vanilla wafers
graham crackers
shortbread cookies
pretzel sticks
strawberries

In a mixing bowl using elec.
beaters, place butter & cream
cheese – beat until smooth & creamy.
Add milk & beat until smooth. Add
brown sugar, powdered sugar &
vanilla – beat until smooth. Using
a spatula, fold in choc. chips &
spoon into a serving bowl. Top
with additionaly choc. chips &
serve. Serves 12

(recipe: dinneratthezoo.com)
====================

This is the middle of a VERY busy week; I’m tired/exhausted
but also extremely happy/honored at all that came about
with my knit groups.

Our weather is staying ‘Summer-like’ with temps in the
high 70’s, which is VERY nice.

Hope you have a GREAT ‘rest of the week’!

Hugs;

Pammie

The Ups and Downs in a Day

Today is another ‘wrapping things up’ day – I knit for Crisis Pregnancy Center’s mobile unit and had 6 blankets ready for pick-up/delivery – the lovely lady who meets me to pick them up has been under a lot of pressure/stress lately with selling their house, moving and, recently, the death of her mother. I have been blessed by her, many times – this time she agreed to allow me to donate ‘their’ blankets to the Detroit Vet’s Baby shower coming up next Tuesday. I knew she was really stressed and didn’t want to add to it – this way the blankets go to a good cause.

Along with that I’ve started knitting for homeless or needy people – mostly scarves. I have 4 done, 1 man’s ‘loomed’ hat and another one almost done. Working on these, I tend to forget that it’s not one of my favorite ‘knits’ – I’ve decided that, sometimes, you just have to go with what’s comfortable for YOU! I will finish these and donate them – maybe, later on in the Fall/Winter I’ll take it up again – maybe . . .

Two of the scarves for donation

The completed baby blankets for Detroit Vets

Getting things together for next week’s Vet’s baby shower – trying to remember all the ‘little things’ like extra ink pens, extra small crochet hooks (to help place the name tags on the items), enough name tags for all the donated items, etc.

Another ‘fun thing’ – this Wednesday morning our Library Knit Group will be having a pot luck! One of our ladies suggested it to the head librarian and she set it up! This is a ‘first’ for us; I’m bringing BBQ’d pork & buns for sandwiches. I know we will be eating well because of all the items listed on the sign up sheet. (In case you wondered, I ‘cheated’ & went to Gordon Food Services for their frozen pulled pork – I’ll cook it before time, mix with Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet Vidalia onion BBQ sauce & place it in my crockpot to keep warm – that should work!)

=============

Peanut Butter Chocolate Eclair Cake

Cake:
1 box chocolate graham crackers
2 (3 1/4 oz, ea) pkgs. instant vanilla
pudding mix
1 C. creamy peanut butter
3 1/2 C. milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Frosting:
1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
2 T. butter, melted
2 T. white corn syrup
1/2 C. powdered sugar
2-3 T. milk
==
(optional garnish:
mini peanut butter cups)
=
Cake:

Spray bottom of a 9 X 13″ baking dish
with nonstick cooking spray. Place one
layer of graham crackers on bottom,
breaking to completely cover bottom.
In a medium bowl mix pudding mix,
peanut butter & milk using an elec.
mixer – mix 2 minutes then fold in
Cool Whip. Spread half mixture on
top of first layer of crackers. Place a
second layer of crackers on top &
spoon remaining pudding mix on top.
Finish with third layer of crackers.

Prepare frosting ingredients & spread
on top of last layer of crackers, spreading
all the way to the edges. Refrigerate
overnight (so crackers become soft &
moist).
Optional garnish: mini peanut butter cups
Slice & serve

(recipe: 1krecipes.com)
——————————-
Zucchini Corn Risotto

4 T. butter
3 T. olive oil
1 lb. zucchini, sliced into quarter-inch
slices (cut large slices in half)
3 ears fresh corn, (2-3 C) removed
from cobs
1 C. diced sweet onion (like Vidalia)
1 T. fresh minced garlic
1 C. arborio rice
1/3 C. white wine (poster used Chardonnay)
2 1/2 to 2 3/4 C. chicken stock, hot
1/2 C. heavy cream (heated past room temp.
but not scorching hot)
3/4 C. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 C. fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt (if needed)

In 4-5 qt. heavy-bottomed pan, over medium
to medium-high heat, melt 1 T. butter in 1 T.
olive oil. Once hot, add half the zucchini & cook
without touching – for 2 minutes. Flip pieces over
& cook 2 more minutes then remove to a bowl.
Add another T. each of butter & oil – once hot,
cook second half of zucchini & remove to bowl.
Add another T. butter; once melted, add corn &
saute 2 minutes – place in bowl. Add remaining
butter & oil (once butter melts), add onions &
cook 2 minutes. Add garlic & cook 1 more minute.
Add rice & cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add wine;
once evaporated, add 1 C. stock & half the cream.
Stir constantly; once the liquid has been absorbed,
ad 1/2 C. stock & remaining cream – stir until that
liquid has been absorbed. Add another 1/2 C. stock
& stir/cook until absorbed. Add another 1/2 C.
stock; once that has been evaporated, remove from
heat & test the rice. If it is cooked – do not add final
quarter C. stock – IF if still has some ‘chew’, stir in
last of the stock.Cover & leave off heat 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, stir in Parm. cheese, basil & pepper.
Taste & decide if salt is needed. Stir in zucchini &
corn – serve. Serves 8

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)
———————————–

Cherry Tomato Salad

4 C. cherry or grape tomatoes,
halved
2 C. fresh mozzarella balls, halved
1/4 C. red onion, minced
1/4 C. chopped fresh herbs, such as:
parsley, basil, chives, green onions,
oregano
1/4 C. olive oil
1 1/2 T. red wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
salt/pepper, to taste

Place tomatoes, mozz. balls, red onion
& herbs in a large bowl. In small bowl
whisk olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar,
oregano, garlic powder & salt/pepper.
Pour dressing over tomato mixture &
gently toss to coat evenly. Serves 6

(recipe: dinenratthezoo.com)
———————–
Creamy Zucchini/Spinach Pasta Bake

3 C. cavatappi pasta, uncooked
1 onion, chopped
2 zucchini, cut lengthwise in half,
then sliced crosswise
1 C. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 (6 oz) pkg. baby spinach leaves
1 (24 oz) jar (Classico) Marinara with
plum tomatoes & olive oil pasta sauce
1 (15 oz) tub ricotta cheese
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 (8 oz) pkg. shredded mozzarella
cheese, divided

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 13″ baking dish with
nonstick cooking spray.
Cook pasta as directed on pkg,
omitting salt. In large skillet cook
& stir onions over medium heat
3-4 minutes until crisp-tender. Add
zucchini & mushrooms, cook 3-4
minutes until zucchini is crisp-
tender, stirring frequently. Add
half the spinach; cook 2-3 minutes
until just wilted – repeat with
remaining spinach; remove from
heat.
Drain pasta; add to veg. mixture in
skillet along with pasta sauce, ricotta,
Ital. seasoning & 1 C. mozzarella – mix
lightly. Spoon mixture into prepared
pan & top with remaining mozzarella.
Bake 20-25 minutes until casserole is
heated through & mozzarella is melted.
Serves 12

(recipe: myfoodandfamily.com)
————————

Southern Bacon-fried Cabbage

6 slices bacon, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large head cabbage, cored/chopped
2 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Cook bacon in large skillet over meidum-
high heat until crisp. Remove bacon to
paper towel-lined plate. Reserve 2 T.
bacon grease & discard rest. In same skillet
with reserved 2 T. grease, cook onion until
soft (about 4 minutes) on medium-high heat.
Add garlic & cook 1 more minute. Stir in
cabbage & continue to cook & stir 4-5 minutes.
Add salt/pepper, onion & garlic powders –
mix well. Reduce heat to Low, cover & allow
to simmer, stirring occasionally, about 30
minutes. Just before serving mix bacon into
cooked cabbage. Serve immediately.
Serves 6

(recipe: lovebakesgoodcakes.com)
——————————-

Crockpot Meatball Parmesan (low carb)
(makes 24 meatballs)

2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 C. marinara sauce
2 T. dried minced onion (or freeze-
dried shallots)
2 tsp. minced garlic (or freeze dried)
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
3/4 C. shredded Parmesan cheese
2 eggs
salt/pepper, to taste

Additional marinara & shredded
mozzarella, to taste
=
Spray crockpot with nonstick cooking
spray. In large bowl mix marinara sauce
with meat, onion, garlic, Parm. cheese,
eggs & seasonings. Form mixture into
24 meatballs & place in crockpot, stacking
lightly, if necessary. Cover & cook on High
2-3 hours until meatballs are cooked through.
Remove meatballs from crockpot & set
aside any you would like to freeze.

To serve:
Toss meatballs in additional marinara &
place over your favorite cooked pasta –
top with cheese.

To freeze:
Place meatballs in a single layer on a
cookie sheet & freeze a few hours then
transfer to a freezer bag.

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
———————————-
Lazy Day Lasagna

1 lb. dry lasagna noodles
1 lb. lean ground beef (or half
beef/half pork), browned/drained
1 (24 oz) jar marinara OR pasta
sauce
2/3 C. water
1 (15 oz.) tub ricotta or cottage
cheese
12 oz. shredded mozzarella
cheese, divided
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
=
Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray 9 X 13″ baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray
Spread 2/3 rds of sauce on
bottom of pan; top with dry
lasagna noodles (you can break
some to fit). Pour remaining sauce
into pan with browned meat (add
water to jar, cover with lid, shake
& pour into skillet) – stir in. Simmer
5 minutes. Scatter about 1/3 of
ricotta cheese on top of noodles in
pan; sprinkle about 3 oz. shredded
mozz. cheese on top & top with
about 1/3rd of meat sauce. Add
another layer noodles & press down
slightly. Repeat with ricotta/mozz.
cheese & meat sauce  – TWO more
times. Top with remaining mozz.
cheese & sprinkle top with Italian
seasoning. Cover tightly with foil &
bake 45 minutes until noodles are
fork-tender. (The additional water &
steam created by covering with foil
will cook the noodles). Remove foil
& bake another 7-8 minutes until
cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven
& let rest at least 15 minute before
serving. Serves 8

(recipe: momonttimeout.com)
——————————–

NO-Bake Cherry Cookies

2 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter, cubed
6 T. 2% milk
3 T. baking cocoa
1 C. peanut butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. almond extract
3 C. quick-cooking oats
1 (10 oz) jar maraschino cherries,
well drained/finely chopped
=
Spread several sheets of waxed
paper on the counter (for later).
In large saucepan combine sugar, butter,
milk & cocoa – bring to boil, stirring
constantly – cook & stir 3 minutes.
Remove from heat; stir in peanut
butter & extracts until blended. Stir
in oats & cherries. Drop by Tablespoonfuls
onto waxed paper. Refrigerate until set.
Makes about 5 1/2 dozen.
Store in air-tight containers.

(recipe: tasteofhome.com)

====================

Our weather has been kind of hard to predict
lately – today it’s really chilly (to me, anyway) –
right now it’s 68 degrees F., cloudy and gray. The
strange thing is: this WEDS. it’s supposed to get
up to 84 degrees F! (then showers likely) – sigh.
Looks like Weds. night-Friday is showers &
thunderstorms – oh, great . . . sigh.

Hope you are having a GREAT start to your
week!

Hugs;

Pammie

Another Busy Week – sigh . . .

At the beginning of this week I was thinking/hoping I’d only have 1 day of babysitting – boy, was I wrong! So far it’s been 2 (and one was almost 9 hours long) – just got the request for tomorrow (Saturday – I’m usually free from sitting on the weekends) and it’s 3 p.m. – 8/9 p.m. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little 2 1/2 yr old grandson but BOY IS HE FULL OF ENERGY! I was with him yesterday from 10:45 a.m. – 6:45 p.m. and finally I just couldn’t stand to hear any more KIDDIE TV so I shut it off (he wasn’t happy, but OH WELL . . . ). He did well playing by himself while I knit (as usual). My brain can only hold so much squeeky little voices with ridiculous program premises! I DID get to finish one baby blanket and knit 2 3/4ths pairs of baby booties (finished the other one today) so all was not wasted time. The shades of brown/black men’s scarf I started knitting I decided I’d hold off on until Fall/Winter – it’s a real strain on my fingers and it’s not really ‘needed’ until then, so I feel good about that decision. Haven’t taken up another blanket pattern just yet – I’ll know when I’m feeling ‘inspired’ . . . hehehe.

============

Peach Bread

4 T. softened butter
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
2 eggs
1/3 C. milk (whole)
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1 1/2 C. peaches, peeled/chopped
1/2 C. chopped pecans

Glaze:
1 single ripe peach peeled/pit removed
1 C. powdered sugar
1 T. melted butter
1/4 tsp. almond extract

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Butter & flour a standard loaf pan.
In large bowl (or using stand mixer
w/paddle attachment) beat butter
until smooth, then add both sugars
& beat to combine. Add 1 egg at a time
& beat; then add milk & extract – beat
again. In separate medium bowl whisk
flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg
& allspice. Stir dry ingredients into wet.
Fold in peaches & nuts – scrape into
prepared loaf pan. Bake 55-60 minutes
until a toothpick inserted into center
comes out clean & top bounces back
when touched. (If you take it out too
early the center will sink as it cools).

While bread is baking, puree 1 peach using
an immersion blender (or put in a blender
& puree) – puree just until peach is in small
pieces, about rice sized. In a medium bowl
mix powdered sugar with melted butter &
extract then add in pureed peach. If mixture
is too runny, add more powdered sugar-it
should pour out of bowl when tipped but
not be watery.
Cool bread on a wire rack until room temp
then cover with half the glaze. Dust top
with powdered sugar.

To serve:
Slice loaf into 8, 10 or 12 slices then top
each piece with remaining glaze as you
serve. Makes 1 loaf

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)
———————————–

Roasted Zucchini in Oven

1 large zucchini, cut into chunks
3-4 medium red potatoes, cut into
chunks (poster doesn’t peel hers)
2 large carrots, scraped & cut into
pieces
1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into
pieces
1 onion, quartered (optional)
3 T. olive oil
2 T. butter, melted (optional)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. chopped fresh basil (or 2 tsp
dried)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Cover a large baking sheet with foil &
spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large microwave bowl place
potatoes & carrots – microwave on
HIgh 5 minutes. In another large
bowl whisk together olive oil, melted
butter, garlic powder, basil, bl. pepper &
salt. Add microwaved potatoes & carrots,
zucchini, onion & sausage to olive oil
mixture & toss to coat. Spread all veggies
on baking sheet & bake 25-30 minutes.
Serves 6-8.

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)
—————————–

Dill Pickle, Bacon, Ranch Pasta Salad

12 oz. pasta, cooked al dente, drained/
cooled
1 lb. thick-cut hickory smoked bacon,
cooked crisp & cut into bite-sized pieces
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 large orange bell pepper, seeded,
cut into bite-sized pieces
1 C. diced red onion
1 (16 oz) jar dill pickles, diced – reserve
2 T. pickle juice
1 (7 oz) bag (1 1/2 C.) Italian mix large-
shred cheese (poster used Sargento
4-cheese Italian)
1 C. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 C. ranch salad dressing
2 T. pickle juice (that you reserved)

In large bowl combine cooked/cooled pasta,
bacon, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, diced/
drained pickles, Italian cheese blend & Parmesan
cheese – toss well.
In a 2-Cup measuring cup measure out 1 1/2 C.
Ranch dressing & stir in the 2 T. pickle juice –
stir well then pour over past mixture – toss
to combine. Cover, chill then serve.
Serves 10-12

(recipe: afamilyfeast.com)
—————————–

Tomato/Zucchini/Mozzarella Bake

2 zucchini, sliced into 1/2″ rounds
1 large tomato, cut into 1″ cubes
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 T. fresh parsley
2 T. olive oil
salt/pepper, to taste

Bread crumb topping:
1/4 C. Italian bread crumbs
1/4 C. Panko (Japanese-style) bread
crumbs
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. olive oil

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Spray a casserole dish (11″ X 8″)
or similar size with nonstick
cooking spray & layer zucchini slices,
tomato chunks, parsley, salt/pepper.
Add shredded mozz. cheese.
Prepare topping:

Topping:
In a bowl add all topping ingredients
& stir until well combined. Sprinkle
topping over casserole. Cover with foil
& bake 30 minutes. Remove foil &
bake another 10 minutes so topping
can brown. Serves 4

(recipe: noplatelikehome.com)
——————————

Baked Lemon Pepper Garlic Chicken

4 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 C. butter (1 stick), melted
2 heaping T. minced garlic
3 T. lemon juice
1/2 C. Italian bread crumbs
1/2 C. fresh ground Parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp. thyme (important)
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place butter in a 9 X 13″ baking dish
& place in oven to melt butter. Add garlic,
thyme & lemon juice – mix well. In
a large ziplock bag mix bread
crumbs & Parmesan – place chicken
in bag & shake to coat (save extra
crumbs). Add garlic, thyme & lemon
juice to melted butter & mix well.
Lay each chicken breast in prepared
baking dish with melted butter. Turn
chicken over to coat both sides with
melted butter then place in bag to
bread again. Place chicken in baking
dish & sprinkle tops with any leftover
breading. Sprinkle some lemon pepper
on top. Bake 40 minutes. Spoon some
of liquid from pan over top of cooked
chicken. Serves 4

(recipe: copykat.com)
—————————

Sheet Pan Taco Nachos

Taco Meat:
1 lb. ground beef
1/3 C. chopped onion
1 tsp. minced garlic
salt/pepper, to taste
2 T. taco seasoning (dry)
1 (14.5 oz) can Mexican-stewed
tomatoes (undrained)
1/2 tsp. sugar

Nachos:
1 (11 oz) bag tortilla chips
3-4 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1 pint grape (or cherry) tomatoes,
halved
2 green onions, chopped
1/4 C. chopped cilantro

Creamy Drizzle:
1/4 C. sour cream
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1 T. taco seasoning
1 T. lime juice (bottled is fine)
=
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Heat large, deep skillet over medium-
high heat – add gr. beef, onions, garlic,
salt/pepper & taco seasoning. Cook until
meat is browned & onions are translucent.
(Drain) Add stewed tomatoes & sugar; stir &
reduce heat to simmer – cook 5-10 minutes.
Line 2 sheet pans with foil & spray each with
nonstick cooking spray. Spread half of tortilla
chips into each pan & divide meat & cheese
equally into pans, sprinkling over chips. Bake
3-5 minutes until cheese is melted.
While cheese is melting, combine all Drizzle
ingredients & mix until smooth.
When pans are cooked, sprinkle tops with
sliced tomatoes, gr. onions & cilantro. Drizzle
creamy sauce over top & serve immediately.
Serves 6-8

(recipe: jamiecooksitup.net)
————————–

Fresh Blueberry Pie

3 C. blueberries
1 T. butter
3 T. cornstarch
1 tsp. lemon juice
3/4 C. water
1 C. sugar
1 dash salt
1 (9 inch) pie crust

Sweetened whipped cream –
optional garnish

In a saucepan bring 1 C. blueberries
& water to a boil – boil gently 4 minutes.
Add butter & stir in sugar, cornstarch &
salt. Cook slowly, stirring, until thick &
clear. Remove from heat & add lemon
juice. Pour mixture over remaining 2
C. blueberries in medium bowl, stir
gently to combine – pour mixture into
pie crust. Serve chilled or at room
temperature with a dollop of sweetened
whipped cream. Makes 1 pie

(recipe: food.com)

===================

Our weather has been nice for August: in the 70-80’s
with some rain, but usually at night. Today I went out
shopping and it was (only) 70 but sunny – made me
think of the fact that pretty soon we will be getting
out our sweaters and light jackets – Fall is on the way
(sigh). I can also tell that by looking at my calendar:
the days are rapidly being filled in with events; fun
events in most cases, but more ‘things to do’.

Hope you are enjoying these last fleeting days of
warm weather. Remember to get a little rest or
do something nice for yourself (like a cup of coffee
you usually wouldn’t get, or a muffin, or buy that
book you’ve been looking at – you get my drift).
(I stopped by Tim Horton’s yesterday before the
marathon sitting job & got myself a “Triple Berry
Explosion” muffin which had been recommended
to me by one of their ladies the last time I was
there ordering (my favorite) blueberry muffin –
she said: “You really should try this one – it’s
FULL of different berry flavors!” – so I did. It was
moist & tasty but I still like blueberry best!

Enjoy your day;

Hugs;

Pammie

PS: Our gas prices (for regular) have been hovering at
$2.69/$2.79 for weeks. Fortunately I had KROGER GAS
POINTS, so got 30 cents off per gallon today (from $2.79/9
down to $2.49.9 -YAY!)

 

 

Another GREAT Summer Day!

It’s another really NICE day here – sunny skies, slight breeze, temperature at 77 degrees F. and I saw our BUNNY in the back yard this morning – YAY! Got up kind of early, worked on both baby blankets – really want to finish BOTH by the pick-up date of Sept. 17th – we’ll see. Spent some time photographing my blankets (6) and all of the really beautiful things my friend Liz created to donate. She’s from Scotland and does GORGEOUS knitting – she knit up several baby sets (hat, booties, sweater), plus 3 extra sweaters, 2 prs. mittens, 6 prs. booties – I love seeing her projects. She’ll be out of country for the pick-up so she gave them to me to hold on to. The night of the pick up is REALLY hectic for me – everyone is coming in with their finished donations – I have to make sure each item is tagged (the ladies at the Vets want to know who knit/crocheted each thing so we put on tags with our first names on them), then photographed to be posted to our web site for those who weren’t able to attend for the pick up. Rarely do I take any knitting projects on that night because when it’s all done-I’m exhausted! I’m really proud of my ladies for all their kindness and donations – it makes me really happy that we are able to give-back to the wives of those in the military.

========

No-Bake Twinkie Cake

1 box Hostess Twinkies
4 bananas, peeled/sliced
1 (20 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained
well
1 (3 oz) pkg. instant vanilla pudding mix
2 C. cold milk
1 (8 oz) tub Cool Whip, thawed

Toppings:
maraschino cherries
chopped nuts
=
Remove Twinkies from wrappers (you
will use about 7 Twinkies) & slice
in half lengthwise. Place halves into
a 9 X 13″ baking dish, cream sides up.
Layer sliced bananas on top then spread
drained crushed pineapple on top.
In a bowl combine instant pudding mix
with 2 C. cold milk – whisk until combined
& starts to thicken slightly (3-5 minutes).
(Needs to still be pourable). Pour pudding
over pineapple & spread out evenly. Layer
with Cool Whip & spread evenly. Drain a
few maraschino cherries on a paper towel.
Sprinkle top of cake with chopped nuts then
place cherries on top. Cover & refrigerate
1 hour before serving. Serves 12

(recipe: thecountrycook.net)
——————————

9-Layer Summer Salad

1 (16 oz.) bagged salad mix
1 bundle radishes, cleaned/
trimmed/diced
1 small purple onion, diced
1 (6 oz) pkg. frozen peas
1 (6 oz) pkg. shredded cheese of
your choice
1 (10 oz) pkg. cherry tomatoes,
either whole or halved
1 (16 oz) pkg. baby corn, diced
1 (4 oz) container bacon bits
1 (16 oz) jar artichokes, drained/
diced

NOTE: if you want the full effect of
this beautiful salad – prepare in a
clear bowl.

Place 1-2 handfuls salad mix in bottom
of bowl. Layer sliced radishes on top in
a ring around inside of bowl leaving a gap
in the middle to place more lettuce. Add
diced onion in a ring, more lettuce. A ring
of frozen peas & then cheese – fill gap with
more lettuce. A ring of tomatoes all across
top of bowl. Next baby corn, then artichokes-
both of these layers go all across top of layer.
Last add bacon bits sprinkled on top.

(recipe: heavenlysavings.net)
—————————

Red Potato Salad

1 1/2 lb. baby red potatoes, cut into quarters
8 slices bacon, cooked/crumbled
6 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1 C. white onion, diced
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 C. mayonnaise
1 C. plain Greek yogurt
paprika – garnish
chopped fresh parsley – garnish

Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
Place cut potatoes on a baking sheet
lined with parchment paper – bake
30 minutes. Remove from oven & cool
10-15 minutes. Place crumbled bacon (
reserve a little for garnish), eggs, onion,
dry mustard, garlic salt, pepper & roasted
potatoes in large mixing bowl – stir to
combine.

Dressing:

In small bowl whisk mayo. & plain Greek
yogurt – pour over top of salad & gently
stir to coat. Top with reserved bacon, paprika
& diced parsley. Cover & refrigerate until
ready to serve. Serves 8

(recipe: realhousemoms.com)
——————————-

Bacon-wrapped Scallops

2 lb. bacon (regular, not thick),
sliced & cut in half
2 lb. sea scallops (if very large,
cut in half
3 T. butter
1 T. minced garlic
1/3 C. chicken broth

Wrap a piece of bacon around each
scallop & secure with a toothpick.
Arrange wrapped scallops on a
baking sheet. Broil 5 inches from
heat 3 minutes per side until bacon
is crisp. In small skillet melt butter.
Add garlic & saute 1 minute. Add
broth & bring to a boil; cook 2
minutes. Place cooked scallops in
a large bowl & pour broth over –
gently toss to coat. Makes 40

(recipe: geniuskitchen.com)
——————————–

Ham Salad

6 C. ham, coarsely ground
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 C. celery, finely chopped
1/2 C. onion, finely chopped
1/2 C. sweet pickle relish
1 C. mayonnaise
4 T. Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. dried basil

In large bowl combine all ingredients –
mix well.
MAKES 1/2 GALLON!

(recipe: thesoutherladycooks.com)
——————————-

Crockpot Apricot Chicken

6 frozen skinless/boneless chicken breasts
(not thawed)
1 pkg. dry onion soup mix
1/2 C. Russian or French salad dressing
1 C. apricot preserves or jam
2 T. apple cider vinegar (or fresh lime or
lemon juice)
1 tsp. dried basil or thyme leaves
1/8 tsp. black pepper
=
Cooked rice, pasta or mashed
potatoes to serve 6
=
In bottom of 4 qt crockpot arrange frozen
chicken pieces. Mix dry onion soup  mix,
salad dressing, apricot preserves/jam,
apple cider vinegar, dried herb & pepper
in medium bowl – stir well with a whisk to
combine & pour over chicken. Cover & cook
on Low 6-8 hours until chicken is cooked to
160 degrees F. on a meat thermometer & is
tender when pierced with a fork.

NOTE: If you like you can thicken mixture
before serving by combining 2 t. cornstarch
with 3 T. water or chicken stock in a small
bowl – mix using a whisk until smooth &
add to crockpot – stir & turn heat to High
10-15 minutes until sauce is thickened.
Serve with cooked rice, pasta or mashed
potatoes. Serves 6

(recipe: thespruceeats.com)
——————————–

Red Lobster’s Cheese (Biscuit) Loaf

3 C. flour
1 T. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp. black pepper
4 oz. Cheddar cheese, cut into
1/4 inch cubes
1 1/4 C. milk
3/4 C. sour cream
3 T. butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9 X 5″ loaf pan with
nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl
whisk first 5 ingredients. Carefully
stir in cheese cubes until covered
in flour mixture (this helps the cheese
from sinking to the bottom of the loaf).
In a different bowl, whisk remaining
ingredients. Fold wet mixture into flour
& cheese mixture. Stir until just
combined – do not over stir. Spread
mixture into prepared loaf pan & bake
45-50 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes
then remove from pan & allow to cool
on a wire rack 1 hour before slicing.
Makes 1 loaf.

(recipe: 1Krecipes.com)
——————————-

Triple Berry Salad w/Vanilla Syrup

6-8 C. fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries
& raspberries) Rinsed/hulled & large berries
cut into 2-3 slices.
1/4 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Place sugar & water in a small saucepan
over medium heat. Bring just to simmer;
stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from
heat & cool 5 minutes. Stir in vanilla extract.
Chill completely in fridge.

Place berries in a large bowl. Just before
serving, drizzle syrup over berries & toss
gently to coat. (You may not need all of
the syrup.)

(recipe: thekitchenismyplayground.com)

===================

Hope it’s a NICE day for you, too!

Hugs;

Pammie

and we have BUNNIES – again!

Every Spring I look forward to seeing if I can spot our bunnies – these are wild bunnies that (usually) live in our yard in a space that used to be a garden – lots of wild blackberry bushes have taken over the area so they are well protected from predators. I saw one this morning – looking all fat & healthy (probably an adult) – just seeing them makes me happy.

Our weather has been really nice – yesterday it was SUPER sunny and got up to 71 degrees F. – YAY!!! (the rest of the week our forecast is for rain, but hey – we need that for the flowers, right?)

===========

I missed posting Cinco de Mayo recipes – so here’s a few, anyway

Double-Lemon Cheesecake Bars

52 Vanilla wafers, finely crushed,
about 2 C.
3 T. butter or marg., melted
4 eggs, divided
4 (8 oz, ea) pkgs. cream cheese,
softened
1 3/4 C. sugar, divided
3 T. flour
1 T. lemon zest AND
1/3 C. lemon juice (from 2 lemons),
divided
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 T. cornstarch
1/2 C. water

Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Line a 9 X 13″ baking dish with foil – ends
extending over sides (to use as handles).
In a bowl mix wafer crumbs & butter until
blended. Press onto bottom of pan & bake
10 minutes. Separate 1 egg; refrigerate yolk
until ready to use. Beat cream cheese, 1 C.
sugar, flour, lemon zest, 2 T. lemon juice &
vanilla in large bowl with elec. mixer until
blended. Add egg white & remaining 3 whole
eggs, one at a time, mixing on Low speed after
each – just until blended – pour over crust.
Bake 40 minutes until center is almost set.
Cool 1 hour & refrigerate 4 hours.
=
Mix cornstarch & remaining sugar in medium
saucepan; gradually stir in water & remaining
lemon juice just until blended. Bring just to a
boil on medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook
& stir until clear & thickened. Lightly beat reserved
egg yolk in small bowl with fork until blended.
Stir in 2 T. hot cornstarch mixture & return to
remaining cornstarch mixture in saucepan; stir
until blended. Cook 1 minute until thickened,
stirring constantly. Cool slightly.
Spoon lemon glaze over cheesecake. Refrigerate
1 hour until firm. Using foil as handles, remove
cheesecake from pan before cutting to serve.
Makes 16

(recipe: kraftrecipes.com)
—————————-

Crockpot Mexican Taco Casserole

1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/2 onion, chopped (optional)
1 C. corn
1 can black beans, drained/rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes w/green chilies (aka: Rotel)
1/2 envelope dry taco seasoning
garlic salt, to taste
2 C. cooked rice (poster used brown rice)
8 oz. shredded cheese (poster used Cheddar)

In skillet brown meat; add onions, taco seasoning,
tomatoes, beans & corn – stir to combine.
Spray insides of crockpot with nonstick cooking
spray. Spread cooked rice on bottom of crockpot &
sprinkle with garlic salt. Spoon meat mixture over
rice & top with cheese. Cover & cook on High
2-3 hours. Serves 10

NOTE: for some crunch, add crushed tortilla
chips on top before serving.

(recipe: eatingonadime.com)
————————————–

(this next recipe my son (the chef) makes for holidays – really tasty – he drizzles honey over the brie before wrapping then does the rest of steps – no jam)

Baked Brie w/Phyllo Dough & Jam
(appetizer)

6 sheets phyllo dough (14 X 18″ size)
1 stick (8 T.) butter, melted
1 lb. round brie cheese
4-6 T. preserves or jam (your choice;
suggestions: peach, strawberry, apricot)

crackers for serving
=
Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Have on hand: a clean, dry dishcloth or
towel (needed to keep phyllo from drying
out).
Unroll phyllo & lay 1 sheet of dough onto a
large cutting board. Using a pastry brush,
brush dough with melted butter. Wrap phyllo
around brie (you can use more butter to get
folds to stick around brie). Brush next sheet
of phyllo with butter & place wrapped brie,
fold side down, in center of second phyllo
sheet – wrap around brie – repeat until you
have wrapped 5 sheets of phyllo around
cheese, always turning cheese over each
time so that folds are on the bottom.
Brush a generous amount of butter on 6th
sheet of phyllo. Spread jam across top of
wrapped brie – gently place phyllo over jam,
butter side down, being careful not to tear
the dough. Finish wrapping brie with dough,
folding edges underneath brie & using
additional butter, as needed, to smooth
phyllo folds around cheese. Brush additional
butter on top.
Place wrapped brie on a round baking pan or
cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes until lightly
brown. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.
Serve with crackers for dipping.

(recipe:  afamilyfeast.com)
——————————

1-Pot Mexican Chicken & Rice

5 chicken thighs, bone in/skin on
1 yellow onion, diced
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 T. olive oil
1 C. white rice, uncooked
1 T. minced garlic
2 C. chicken stock
1 C. salsa
1/2 red bell pepper, minced
optional garnish: chopped parsley

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Heat cast iron skillet on High heat.
Season chicken with garlic powder,
chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika,
salt & cayenne pepper. Place chicken,
skin sides down, in skillet & cook
4-5 minutes until browned – flip &
cook 3-4 minutes on other sides.
EITHER: remove chicken to a plate,
(OR) push chicken to sides of skillet:
Add olive oil & heat to medium-high.
Add onions & cook 3-4 minutes. Once
onions are mostly cooked, add garlic &
cook 30 seconds while stirring. Add
uncooked rice, salsa & bell pepper –
cook 1 minute unitl boiling. Pour in
chicken stock & place chicken back in
skillet, skin sides up. Cover & bake
35-40 minutes. Serves 5

(recipe: yummly.com)
———————————–

Cheesy Beef Enchiladas

8 corn or flour tortillas
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 (4 oz) can fire-roasted chopped
green chiles, drained
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained/
rinsed
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
about 3 C. enchilada sauce, divided
2 C. shredded Mexican-style 4-blend cheese
(or whatever cheese you like)
=
Toppings:
chopped green onions
chopped tomatoes
fresh chopped parsley
sour cream
sliced black olives

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Brown ground beef & onion in skillet;
drain. Add chopped garlic, green chilies,
black beans, cumin, pepper/salt & 1 1/4
C. enchilada sauce to ground beef. Stir &
cook on Low 8-10 minutes. Spread 3 T.
enchilada sauce evenly in bottom of a
9 X 13″ baking dish. Place stacked tortillas
on a microwave-safe plate & microwave
all 30 seconds to warm & make them
more pliable. Fill each tortilla with hamburg
mixture & place in baking dish. Pour 1 C.
enchilada sauce over tortillas & spread
evenly. Sprinkle 2 C. shredded cheese on
top evenly & bake 25 minutes. Garnish
with your favorite toppings.
Makes 4-6 servings

(recipe: thesouthernladycooks.com)
—————————–
Chicken Tortilla Dump Dinner

2 (10 oz, ea) cans diced tomatoes
with chilies (like RoTel)
1 C. chicken broth
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans,
drained/rinsed
1 (10 oz) bag frozen corn
5 C. cooked/shredded chicken
(from small rotisserie chicken)
12 small corn tortillas, cut into
quarters
1 (8 oz) block Monterrey Jack
cheese, shredded (about 2 C.)
1/2 C. sour cream
1/3 C. diced red onion
1/3 C. loosely packed fresh
cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
Spray insides of 9 X 13″ baking
dish with nonstick cooking spray.
In large bowl stir diced tomatoes
with chilies, chicken broth, chili
powder, cumin & salt. Add black
beans, frozen corn, chicken, tortilla
wedges & half the cheese – stir to
evenly distribute & moisten all the
ingredients. Place in prepared dish
& spread evenly. Loosely cover
with foil & bake 25 minutes.

Raise oven temp. to 400 degrees F.
=
Remove foil & sprinkle top with
remaining cheese. Bake until cheese
melts, about 10 minutes. Remove
from oven & top with dollops of
sour cream; sprinkle with red onion
& cilantro. Serve hot.
Serves  6-8

(recipe: foodnetwork.com)
——————————-

Crockpot Peaches ‘n Cream
Dump Cake

1 (21 oz) can peach pie filling
1 box white cake mix
1/2 C. butter, melted
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 C. sugar

In a bowl mix cream cheese &
sugar until smooth. Pour pie
filling into bottom of crockpot
& smooth out. Top filling with
cream cheese mixture then
sprinkle dry cake mix on top.
Pour melted butter evenly
over top. Place 6-8 paper
towels between lid of crockpot
& lid (to help absorb moisture).
Cover & cook on High 1-2 hours.
Serves 4-6

(recipe: recipesthatcrock.com)
—————————

Cherry Choc. Chip Cookies

1 C. (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. gran. sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 C. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 C. chocolate chips
3/4 C. chopped maraschino cherries

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment
paper. In large bowl using elec.
mixer, beat butter & sugars until light
& fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs &
vanilla – beat until combined. In another
bowl mix flour, baking soda & salt – stir into
wet ingredients then fold in choc. chips &
cherries. Using a large cookie scoop, scoop
cookies onto prepared baking sheets & bake
until set, 12-15 minutes. Makes 22 cookies

(recipe: delish.com)

===============

I need to brag a little on my husband – he’s
the kind of person who can fix or figure out
just about anything. My (3-4 yr old) cell phone
has been acting up lately: in middle of typing
a text I will suddenly lose the keyboard & am
unable to continue – or it will suddenly jump
to another screen totally – frustrating! We
were talking about me possibly getting a new
phone but I wanted to download all my photos
FIRST – well, that became almost impossible.
Enter my husband! It took him a good hour to
finally get the data transferred to my computer –
there were 2 photos that I really wanted to save
and (almost) no amount of fiddling with the data
would allow them to be transferred/saved. He
kept working at it and FINALLY succeeded – YAY!
(I’m still learning how to make a video using my
phone, but super cute 2 yr old grandson is making
that a ‘needed’ thing!) Managed to get him being
his usual crazy/funny self and wanted to save those,
too. All is well – we will be off to the phone store
in a little while – time to ‘teach an old “lady” new
tricks’ – right? (don’t know about you, but I DREAD
having to learn how to operate something digital/
new – sigh).

Hang in there!

Hugs;

Pammie

PS: Got a small reprieve on knitting baby booties –
my friend who’s been delivering them will not be
able to do so until end of the month, so I’m trying
to finish the yellow blanket (nice pattern, just boring
to knit). Also – stepped out of my comfort zone yesterday
and bought a hand-crank yarn ball winder.
I already have an electric one which drives me nuts –
never makes the yarn ‘balls’ tight – they are very loose
& almost fall apart right after using. New winder works
like a charm – YAY! Yep – even though I’m quickly
approaching 71, it’s never too late to learn something
new.